You probably have heard about actors getting into shape for a role, but what about directors and producers? Award-winning and critically acclaimed filmmaker of more than 20 years, Zeke Zelker, ran a marathon when making his new movie Billboard, which proved effective. “I didn’t only want to attach myself mentally and creatively,” the Pennsylvanian said to So Booking Cool. “I also wanted to attach myself physically.” This enabled Zelker to process things and refine his work. It was worth it.
With Billboard, the visionary expanded the film into the web series, The Billboard Sitters and digital radio station, WTYT 960, as well as a game. Zelker calls it the cine*experience. The movie, which stars John Robinson; Heather Matarazzo; Eric Roberts; Leo Fitzpatrick; Darlene Cates; and Oakes Flegley, released nationally earlier this month.
Billboard tells the story of a guy (Casey Lindeweiler) who is determined to save his father’s struggling radio station by hosting a viral contest that entails four contestants competing to see who can survive the longest while sitting on a billboard.
When asked what he hopes viewers will take away from the movie, aside from not giving up when trying something hard, Zelker said, “It really is a matter of doing something because you believe in it and struggling ‘til you succeed…then there’s the question we’re raising in the context of the film: can people still achieve the American dream? Or do people even care? It’s something that I toy with in terms of economics and how we are as a society today.”
Listen to the interview to learn more about Zelker, filmmaking, some of the trials and tribulations he endured when making Billboard, the casting, how radio has responded to the movie so far, what he thinks the music industry can learn from his project, and more! For more information visit the official website as well as Zelker’s site. Check out the trailer below!